Is anyone connecting an Arcam AVR350 to a Hi Def DVD player?

Hades

Distinguished Member
Hi,

If anyone has seen any of my other posts in the receivers forum, you will know I am having a decision making nightmare at the moment (which as nearly come to an 'abrupt can't be bothered' end).

I have been advised by a dealer (not from these forums) that the Arcam will be far superior than any of the new receivers from the likes of Denon/Onkyo/Yamaha that are full of bells and whistles. He has said if I listened to the same demo disk on all these players, that none of them can compete with the sound performance the AVR350 can produce.

My problem has been with the Arcam not having on board decoding for the likes of DD+, DD TrueHD and DTS HD. But as the dealer says and also a very good forum member on here :smashin:... Any decent quality high def player will have a set of multi-channel analogue outputs which can be connected to the AVR350 and allow playback of these formats through the AVR350.

I know I am rambling on here but what I am trying to ask is... does anyone have the AVR350 currently connected up to say the likes of the Toshiba EP35 or EX1? Does it sound jaw dropping? Are you blow away by the sound?

If I push the boat out and ignore the Denon 3808/Yamaha 3800/Onkyo 905/Marantz SR8002... and blow my budget on the AVR350, will this last me for say a good 5 years?

Also at the moment I just have 2 HDMI devices, which suits the AVR350 fine. But what do I do if I purchase another device with HDMI? Its a high probability that I will have 2 DVD players along with SKY HD in the near future.

If this is the right bit of kit to buy and a premium price for me... then I would certainly go down this route after a demo (and if I was blown away) as the dealer says I will.

Any owners who can advise and clear a few things up from my questions would be very much appreciated.

Cheers,

Gazza.
 

coldmachine

Active Member
Ive been using the 350 in this manner for a while. I wanted to try the codecs over HDMI so tied out the Onkyo 905. I gave the 905 every chance to be better than the 350. I wanted it to be better as it would give me more sources with HD codecs. It wasn't to be, so i got a Zector 7.1 switch.

The AVR350 was clearly better in every way in terms of sound quality. I was disappointed and returned the 905. Look through my post history and you will see some detail on it. Remember this........the 905 have good video processing that actually eclipses the audio side. When you remove all that and the added connections you are left with a £500 receiver. The Arcam is all sound.
 

True-Blue

Well-known Member
[ Remember this........the 905 have good video processing that actually eclipses the audio side. When you remove all that and the added connections you are left with a £500 receiver. The Arcam is all sound.[/QUOTE]


:boring:
 

trailer

Well-known Member
I have a Tosh HD35 running on the analogues into the 350 for HD and the optical for SD. hdmi for the picture.

I'm more than impressed.


At the end of the day it's whether you think the decoders in the DVD are going to be better than the receivers. Also there's the "handiness" of one hdmi carrying both sound and vision.

Don't get caught up in this "hdmi is God" malarky. It still depends on the DVD vs the receivers DAC's either way.
 

Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
Ive been using the 350 in this manner for a while. I wanted to try the codecs over HDMI so tied out the Onkyo 905. I gave the 905 every chance to be better than the 350. I wanted it to be better as it would give me more sources with HD codecs. It wasn't to be, so i got a Zector 7.1 switch.

The AVR350 was clearly better in every way in terms of sound quality. I was disappointed and returned the 350. Look through my post history and you will see some detail on it. Remember this........the 905 have good video processing that actually eclipses the audio side. When you remove all that and the added connections you are left with a £500 receiver. The Arcam is all sound.

Hey Gary,

Are you reading this. The words "I told you so" come to mind. You dealer is right too obviously.

Chris.
 

Hades

Distinguished Member
You see I then go and read this and I start off with a smile and then sort of end up wondering again :confused:

Here is a section from it.
HDMI Audio
One of the advantages of HDMI is that in its most common, current forms (HDMI 1.1 and 1.2) it can carry both video and multichannel PCM audio. The HDMI connection is the most practical and convenient way to tap into the new high-resolution audio formats now available on HD DVD and Blu-ray. At present, many (but not all) of these players can convert the new hi-res soundtracks to multichannel linear PCM (and some of these soundtracks are uncompressed PCM to begin with). These multichannel tracks can then ride from the player to the receiver on the HDMI link along with the video.

There are other ways to access some (but not all) of these new soundtracks, chief among them the multichannel analog outputs of high-definition players. But this route is neither as convenient nor, in theory at least, as good-sounding as a direct HDMI multichannel PCM digital link from player to pre-pro or AV receiver.

But many AV receivers and pre-pros lack HDMI audio capability, even when they provide HDMI video switching. The AVR350 is one of them. Its HDMI circuits are video switching only; they cannot extract and play the PCM audio that can ride along on the HDMI audio-video connection.

We feel that audio-over-HDMI capability is important for any modern AV receiver or preamp-processor. And much of the Asian AV receiver competition is now ready for multichannel PCM on HDMI. Arcam has not ignored this, but rather argues against it. In their opinion, audio carried on HDMI provides poor performance.

But without HDMI for your multichannel audio, one multichannel analog input might not be enough. Suppose you have two or even three disc players with multichannel capability—a universal player for SACD and DVD-Audio, an HD DVD player, and a Blu-ray player. If you connect them all from their analog multichannel outputs, that means six leads from each of them that will need to be swapped in and out? If a manufacturer does not provide HDMI audio capability, for whatever reason, they might consider offering more than one set of analog multichannel inputs. And some sort of bass management for those analog inputs should probably also be included—even if it must be analog—considering the bass management shortcomings of many players.

Also how big an issue is it not to have video processing on the receiver. Like the Onkyo 875/905 does for example.
 

Hades

Distinguished Member
Hey Gary,

Are you reading this. The words "I told you so" come to mind. You dealer is right too obviously.

Chris.
:)

I have read no end of reviews now on all the receiver range and they get very good reviews on sound quality, as this is where Arcam have invested there time and money. I just get confused with all these other receivers having all the processing on board for video and sound.

To be honest I never knew buying myself a new receiver after 6 years would be such a headache *sigh* :(
 

Hades

Distinguished Member
I have a Tosh HD35 running on the analogues into the 350 for HD and the optical for SD. hdmi for the picture.

I'm more than impressed.

At the end of the day it's whether you think the decoders in the DVD are going to be better than the receivers. Also there's the "handiness" of one hdmi carrying both sound and vision.

Don't get caught up in this "hdmi is God" malarky. It still depends on the DVD vs the receivers DAC's either way.
Thanks for that, much appreciated. Its looking like I will be auditioning the Arcam 280/350, the Yamaha 3800 and the Onkyo 875. The latter really being the 'everyone must buy' receiver at the moment. Which I know does not mean it actually is. But by listening to my selected DVD's on each of these receivers on the same speakers, I am going to get some idea of which sounds better (in my personal opinion).

The more I think about it the more I am really looking forward to this now :) The headache is starting to slightly fade away :clap:
 

TopMeTom

Banned
If you end up after a 350, lack of funds MAY force me to sell mine in the next three months.....

Naturally in the classifieds!
 

coldmachine

Active Member
[ Remember this........the 905 have good video processing that actually eclipses the audio side. When you remove all that and the added connections you are left with a £500 receiver. The Arcam is all sound.


:boring:[/QUOTE]




Thats a measured and educated rebuttal. The simple fact is that I have tested them back to back and I wanted the 905 to be better. It just wasn't. Despite its transformer arrangement it wallowed when driven hard. The audible difference is also clear.

You hear people say that the 350 is better than other receivers with music, thats very true. And its that self same fidelity, when used in a 7.1 setting, that makes it do exactly the same with movies.

The 905 is a Swiss army knife and is reasonable at everything. The 350 is a scalpel and does 1 job with surgical precision and accuracy. The 2 machines are also aimed at rather different customers.
 

Hades

Distinguished Member

IanCurtis

Active Member
I was in the same dilemma a few months back.As soon as I heard the 350 I bought one.
Ultimately when you're watching a movie or listening to a CD who cares what it says on the spec sheet.Someone elses system might be future proof but if it sounds naff would you want to swap?

Anyway you can pontificate forever,get down to a shop and have a listen,nobody can tell you what you'll prefer or value more.When I started reading these forums I thought I'd end up with a Panasonic TV/projector,Monitor Audio speakers and Denon equipment.Thank God I didn't buy anything due to others reviews.
Besides demos cost nothing and are half the fun.
Regards,
Ian.
 

Hades

Distinguished Member
I was in the same dilemma a few months back.As soon as I heard the 350 I bought one.
Ultimately when you're watching a movie or listening to a CD who cares what it says on the spec sheet.Someone elses system might be future proof but if it sounds naff would you want to swap?

Anyway you can pontificate forever,get down to a shop and have a listen,nobody can tell you what you'll prefer or value more.When I started reading these forums I thought I'd end up with a Panasonic TV/projector,Monitor Audio speakers and Denon equipment.Thank God I didn't buy anything due to others reviews.
Besides demo's cost nothing and are half the fun.
Regards,
Ian.
Really looking forward to my few days off work next month now :) Got a full day planned with demo's.... best take the Panadol Extra with me :)

I am also looking to rip all my CD collection to FLAC and buy a Squeezebox. So I guess the Arcam 350 is becoming more of sure fire thing. But all depends on my ears saying so :)
 

Hades

Distinguished Member

True-Blue

Well-known Member




Thats a measured and educated rebuttal. The simple fact is that I have tested them back to back and I wanted the 905 to be better. It just wasn't. Despite its transformer arrangement it wallowed when driven hard. The audible difference is also clear.

You hear people say that the 350 is better than other receivers with music, thats very true. And its that self same fidelity, when used in a 7.1 setting, that makes it do exactly the same with movies.

The 905 is a Swiss army knife and is reasonable at everything. The 350 is a scalpel and does 1 job with surgical precision and accuracy. The 2 machines are also aimed at rather different customers.[/QUOTE]



Well Tbh, it was a balanced as saying the onkyo has the same sound quality as a £500 receiver - which if you re read your post is basically what you said.

We've had a similair exchange of views on another thread and I say here as I said there, the 350 is an excellent receiever.

My findings with the 350 and 905 are different to yours. Different systems, different rooms etc, but I haven't ranted about the lack of new format support, upscalling etc with the 350. I'd like to think that my previous posts on this subject have been balanced.

find me a receiver that sounds as good as the 905 for £500 an I'll gladly eat my shorts ;)
 

ianmacd

Active Member
AVR250 is advertised around for £499 and the AVR300 for £649. Whats the betting they will perform better?
 

mooney058

Standard Member
guys, different type of a question :)

would b&w cm7 speakers be a good companion for avr350? anyone tried/has this combination? o would i need to look for a better/more expensive speakers for the avr350?
 

Menoetius

Active Member
As an AVR350 owner, I can't recommend this fantastic piece of kit enough.
Although I don't actually own a hi def player yet, as an employee in a hifi store, I have spent many hours using both of these receivers with a number of HD players.
As mentioned earlier in the thread, these are two completely different animals.
The 905 can deliver HD audio over HDMI, it upscales and has networking capability.
None of these features can be found on the AVR350.
Instead, you get an AV receiver thats about just one thing - how it sounds.
The audio performance of the AVR350 is amazing.
No whistles, no bells, just top notch sound quality.
If you need a feature laden jack of all trades then go for the 905.
Of course it sounds good, as is to be expected from an AV receiver at this price, but it doesn't compare to the AVR350.
It all depends what you want.
 

oceanrower

Active Member
One thing seems to have been forgotten in this othervise obvious thread...

Why bother about HDMI in the reciver?
Why not always go for the best connection possible and connect your source (DVD/HighDef) directly into your plasma/projector? Every switchboard will just make the picture less good (even if it is very subtle..). For me it is a "law" not to connect things with gadgets and extras inbetween. It has always meant that people wonder how I get the superior picture/sound...

This means that one of the best bargains on the high-def market is to buy an AVR-300 and use its analouge inputs!
 

Menoetius

Active Member
guys, different type of a question :)

would b&w cm7 speakers be a good companion for avr350? anyone tried/has this combination? o would i need to look for a better/more expensive speakers for the avr350?

The CM7s are nice speakers. We have a pair at work that are on the end of an Arcam Solo, sounds excellent. I can't recall them being used with the AVR350 but I reckon they've got to be worth an audition. Around that price point I'd also recommend auditioning Quad 22L2 and the speakers that I own, the fantastic PMC GB1s. Epos M22 would be on my demo list too (although its PMC all the way for me).
 

Hades

Distinguished Member
This means that one of the best bargains on the high-def market is to buy an AVR-300 and use its analouge inputs!
I was amazed to see you can bag one of these 'ex demo' for around £650 at some Sevenoaks stores.
 

kgulls

Active Member
One thing seems to have been forgotten in this othervise obvious thread...

Why bother about HDMI in the reciver?
Why not always go for the best connection possible and connect your source (DVD/HighDef) directly into your plasma/projector? Every switchboard will just make the picture less good (even if it is very subtle..). For me it is a "law" not to connect things with gadgets and extras inbetween. It has always meant that people wonder how I get the superior picture/sound...

This means that one of the best bargains on the high-def market is to buy an AVR-300 and use its analouge inputs!

Well I have an AVR-300 and love it to bits.I really don't want to sacrifice the sound I can get from this receiver and would consider using its analogue inputs apart from two drawbacks.The first is the lack of bass management.It appears from what I have gleaned from these forums, that the LFE channel needs to be adjusted every time you swap between standard and HD dvds.
The second is that with the two competing formats in HD it means buying two HD players with analogue outputs and some form of switching arrangement to the inputs on the AVR-300.
As my blueray player only has HDMI connecton [PS3] I am stuck.
Any suggestions?
 

AIstudio

Standard Member
I also bought an AVR300 for the audio duties over analogue. The best way to be able to use the new formats over analogue is through a HTPC (media centre), rather than having separate Bluray HD machines.

I have just built a HTPC with a Blueray/HD player onboard (LG supermultiblue) and will be going through the AVR300 to a nice panasonic TH50PF10.

Although there are lots of issues with the HDCP thing and also the AACS licensing. Things can, and will, be overcome/ worked around on analogue through the AVR300.

I haven't had it all connected up yet as I have been frantically plastering the front room where it will all live. Nearly there now and I will have to let you know the problems that I have had to overcome.
Although HDMI is a nice clean connection, 1 wire, it does come with its own pitfalls. I really don't like the digital video/audio thing as I find that it produces a harsh, almost to clean, signal.
At the end of the day your eyes and ears are analogue, NOT DIGITAL!
They are the things doing the final decoding.

I would buy the ARCAM personally and not worry to much about future proofing as the rate that things change is getting quicker all the time. If you worry to much about these things you will NEVER enjoy the current technology.

Just my opinion mind.

Kev
 

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